Tomorrow is Here

You Want to be an Astronaut?

by on May.08, 2008, under Around the Solar System, Employment

Space Walking Astronaut


The European Space Agency (ESA) is recruiting. It is inviting applications from citizens of the 17 ESA member states, starting Monday May 19 for four weeks. Successful applicants will be boldly going to the International Space Station, the Moon and beyond.

“We want to find high-calibre men and women in Europe to prepare to meet the challenges of ISS exploitation and human exploration of our solar system in the 21st century.” says Michel Tognini, former astronaut and Head of the European Astronaut Centre.

The European Astronaut Selection web site gives detail of what the ESA is looking for, and what the successful candidate can expect.

An applicant will:

  • Be in good physical and mental health
  • Not be addicted to drugs, alcohol or tobacco
  • Be able to speak and write English
  • Be between 27- 37 years of age
  • Have a Masters degree in a Natural Science, Engineering or Medicine
  • Have good reasoning capability
  • Be able to work under stress
  • Have good memory and concentration skills
  • Have a high aptitude for spatial orientation
  • Have good psychomotor coordination and manual dexterity

An applicant will preferably:

  • Have a Doctorate in a Natural Science, Engineering or Medicine
  • Be an experienced pilot
  • Have a second language
  • Have been on scientific expeditions

An applicant should be:

  • Highly motivated
  • Flexible
  • Gregarious
  • Empathetic
  • Unaggressive
  • Emotionally stable

Annual salary starts in the range of £42,000 – £47,500 (US$82,000 – $95,000) with additional allowances, such a £250 ($500) annual child allowance. After completion of the two-year training course, pay rises to £47,500 – £51,750 (US$95,000 – $103,500), then to £60,200 – £68,150 (US$120,400 – $136,300) after the first space flight.

And the opportunities are out of this world.

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